Friday, June 12, 2009

Fashion Crash Test Dummy - The Pleather Effect

Erin Wasson in leather trou

Generally summing up images of Kiss and other eighties rockers, leather trousers are a look that I didn’t think would come back anytime soon. So naturally I was surprised when Erin Wasson, model-of-the-moment and just-about-everybody’s-style-inspiration was seen at an event sporting a pair.

Inevitably the rage for leather filtered through to the masses, with the leather often being replaced for pleather by those who can’t afford it. Having been a child in the eighties I never got the chance to try this trend the last time round, so I was determined not to let it pass me by this time. I scoured vintage shops and Trademe hunting for real leather pair, but gave up my hunt when I spotted a pleather version in a boutique in Sydney. They were in the habit of slipping down my bum a bit but they would do.

The item of interest sat in my drawer for almost two weeks before I found a suitable occasion to wear them. It was a casual dinner with friends who accept my sometimes strange attire, eating Japanese. And then the friend’s beaus turned up, and it wasn’t so intimate or casual. That was about when my pants ripped. In the crotch, as I attempted my first acrobatic act in them - of sitting down. I decided then that pleather pants were either the sort of trousers that one never sits down in; only stands all night looking cute in the bar, or this particular pair was just made very badly. Giving them the benefit of the doubt I suspected the latter. I told no-one about my breezy crotch, just wrapped my check shirt around my waist and finished my meal. I went home early that night.

The next day I shut myself in my room with the sewing machine and re-enforced every seam. I then added belt loops to help the pants stay up, and finally hemmed them up to fit with the current ankle length trouser trend. That night with renewed confidence I tried again. Going for the original Erin Wasson look I wore gladiator heels, a loose worn T and piles of heavy jewellery. This time my shiny pants were much better behaved and attitudes towards them ranged from exuberant back slapping and envious cooing, to sheer horror. Interestingly enough it was mainly men that hated the PVC.

After a bit of playing dress-ups, I realised that while being slightly clammy to wear for too long, these trousers are surprisingly versatile. Throwing on a casual T and some knitwear and flats with them one day works just as well as flouncing them up a bit with a ruffled blouse, a sassy tailored jacket and some strappy heels. Providing you steer away from the head to toe bogan rocker look and keep a feminine aspect to your outfit at all times, you’ll be well on your way to pleather success. Remember, plastic makes perfect.

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